And just like that the Rangers hopes of winning two games in a row for the first time this season is over again. After battering the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Tuesday the Rangers headed to Chicago to face the Blackhawks who were 5-2-2 entering last nights contest.
As always the Blackhawks were a struggle to play against. When you’re going up against the likes of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Alex Debrincat and a healthy Corey Crawford it’s not going to be an easy night. The Rangers hung around for two periods but got absolutely smoked in the final period of play.
The Blackhawks struck first on a goal by Toews only three minutes into the period. Toews received a pass from Keith while entering the zone, he sidestepped causing Brady Skjei to trip over himself which also caused Adam McQuaid to fall over as well. This resulted in Toews going one on one against Henrik Lundqvist, Toews stickhandled a bit before sliding the puck under Hanks right pad and just like that Hawks are up 1-0.
The Rangers were able to answer quickly, literally a minute later. Buchnevich was able to rocket a shot past Crawford off of a nice pass by Howden. Howden was able to flick a quick pass after the puck came to his stick off of a Brendan Smith shot from the point. Good feed by Howden to set up Buch and we are knotted at 1.
This is the closest the Rangers were to winning this game because after the first the Hawks just took control. Halfway through the second period the Hawks took the lead and never looked back. Fortin hammered home his second goal of the season off of a pass from Nick Schmaltz and just like that it’s 2-1 in favor of the Hawks.
The third period was an absolute bloodbath. The game could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for Lundqvist aka Old Reliable in net. The Rangers were only able to muster up 5 shots in the third. Making it an easy night for Crawford. On the other side, Hank faced close to 20 shots in the third and literally stood on his head stopping all but one.
The man can’t do it by himself folks. Help the poor guy out… for once. Patrick Kane who is off to a hot start this season was able to score with 4:30 minutes left in the game. This would be the dagger in my mind as the Rangers had no answer offensively. That was Kanes 9th goal of this young season as he continues to prove why he is one of the best in the league still. Alex Debrincat would score the empty net goal with a minute left to finish off the slaughter for the night making it a 4-1 game.
The Ranger fall to 3-6-1 on the year. It’s a rebuild year so let’s not trash this team. It’s a year to learn with a new coach who seems about a billion times better than AV already. Young kids are looking good especially Howden who seems like the best thing to come out of the trade so far with Tampa last season. This time remains competitive and they are in almost every game heading into the third period. Can’t be mad at that. Next up on the schedule is Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. Lets keep grinding and see what happens.